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Conversation between Christian
WORLD. Beshrew him for his counsel. There is not a more dangerous and troublesome way in the world, than is that unto which he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt be ruled by his coun. sel. Thou hast met with something (as I perceive) already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee; but that slough is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me, I am older than thou: thou art like to meet with, on the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word, death, and what not! These things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. And why should a inan so carelessly cast away himself, by giving heed to a stranger.
Chr. Why, Sir, this burden upon my back is more, terrible to me than are all these things which you have mentioned: nay, methinks I care not what I meet with in my way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden.
WORLD. How camest thou by the burden at first ? CHR. By reading this book in my hand.
WORLD. I thought so?; and it has happened unto thee as to other weak men, who, meddling with things too high for them, so suddenly fall into thy distraction; which distraction doth not only upman men (as thine, I perceive, has done thee) but it runs them upon desperate ventures, to obtain they know not what.
Chr. I know what I would obtain; it is ease from my heavy burden.
WORLD. But why wilt thou seek for ease in this way, seeing so many dangers attend it ? especially
6 Such is the frame of a person resolved to be a Christian. .
7 Mr. Worldly-Wiseman does not like that men should be serious in reading the Bible.
By reading tot and it has hapiling with
since (hadst thou but patience to hear me) I could direct thee to the obtaining what thou desirest, without the dangers that thou, in this way, wilt run thyself into. Yea, and the remedy is at hand. Besides, I will add, that instead of these dangers, thou shalt meet with much safety, friendship, and content.
CHR. Sir, pray, open this secret to me. · WORLD. Why, in yonder village (the village is named Morality) there dwells a gentleman, whose name is Legality, a very judicious man, and a man of very good name, that has skill to help men off with such burdens as thine from their shoulders; yea, to my knowledge, he hath done a great deal of good this way; and besides, he hath skill to cure those that are somewhat crazed in their wits with their burdens. To him, as I said, thou must go, and be helped presently. His house is not quite a mile from this place: and if he should not be at home himself, he hath a pretty young man to his son, whose name is Civility, that can do it (to speak on) as well as the old gentleman himself. There, I say, thou mayest be eased of thy burden: and if thou art not minded to go back to thy former habitation, as indeed I would not wish thee, thou mayest send for thy wife and children to thee to this village; where, there are houses now standing empty, one of which thou mayest have at a reasonable rate: provision is there also cheap and good : and that which will make thy life more happy is, to be sure there thou
• 8 Mr. Worldly-Wiseman prefers Morality to Christ the Strait Gate. This is the exact reasoning of the flesh. Carnal reason ever opposes spiritual truth. The notion of justification by our own obedience to God's law ever works in us, contrary to the law of justification by the obedience of Christ. Self-righteousness is as contrary to the faith of Christ, as indulging the lusts of the flesh. The former is the white devil of pride, the latter the black devil of rebellion and disobedience. See the awful consequences of listening to the reasoning of the flesh!
Christian meets Evangelist.
shalt live by honest neighbours in credit and good fashion. • Now was Christian somewhat at a stand; but presently he concluded, If this be true which this gentleman hath said, my wisest course is to take his advice: and with that he thus further spake:
Chr. Sir, which is my way to this honest man's house?
:12 WORLD. Do you see yonder high hill ?
. Chr. Yes, very well.
World. By that hill you must go, and the first house you come at is his.
So Christian turned out of his way to go to Mr. Legality's house for help. But, behold, when he was now got hard by the hill, it seemed so high, and also that side of it that was next the way-side did hang so much over, that Christian was afraid to venture further, lest the hill should fall on his head: wherefore there he stood still, and wot not what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he was in his way. There came also flashes of fire out of the hill, that made Christian afraid that he should be burned': here therefore he sweat and did quake for fear. And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly-Wiseman's counsel. And with that he saw Evangelist' coming to meet him; at the sight also of whom he began to blush for shame. So Evangelist drew nearer and nearer; and, coming up to him, he looked upon
9 And a sad turn it proved to him; for he turned from the merit of Christ to his own works and obedience, for salvation, so did the Galatians of old. Mark the consequence: Christian was afraid that Mount Sinai, all the dreadful curses of the law, would fall on his head.
i Evangelist findeth Christian under Mount Sinai, and looketh severely upon him. See the effect of disobeying the gospel.
i Exod. xix. 16-18. Heb. xii. 21.
Evangelist reproaches Christian.
him with a severe and dreadful countenance, and thus began to reason with Christian :
Evan. What doest thou here, Christian? said he. At which words Christian knew not what to answer ; wherefore at present he stood speechless before him. Then said Evangelist further, Art thou not the man that I found crying without the walls of the City of Destruction ?
Chr. Yes, dear Sir, I am the man.
Evan. Did not I direct thee the way to the little Wicket-Gate?
Chr. Yes, dear Sir, said Christian.
Evan. How is it then that thou art so quickly turned aside ? for thou art now out of the way.
CHR. I met with a gentleman, so soon as I had got over the Slough of Despond, who persuaded me that I might, in the village before me, find a man that would take off my burden.
Evan. What was he?
Chr. He looked like a gentleman”, and talked much to me, and got me at last to yield; so I came hither: but when I beheld this hill, and how it hangs over the way, I suddenly made a stand, lest it should fall on my head.
Evan. What said that gentleman to you?
Chr. Why, he asked me whither I was going; and I told him.' • Evan. And what said he then? * CHŘ. He asked me if I had a family; and I told him. But, said I, I am so loaded with the burden that is on my back, that I cannot take pleasure in them as formerly...
2 Beware of approving men by their looks. They may look as gentle as a lamb, while the poison of asps is under their tongues; whereby they destroy many souls with pernicious errors and pestilential heresies, turning them from Christ, and the hope of justification and eternal life, through him only, to depend upon their own works, in whole or in part, for salvation.
Christian warned of the Danger
Evan. And what said he then?,
CHR. He bid me with speed get rid of my burden; and I told him it was ease that I sought. And, said I, I am therefore going to yonder gate, to receive further direction how I may get to the place of deliverance. So he said that he would shew me a better way, and shorter, not so attended with difficulties as the way, Sir, that you set me in; which way, said he, will direct you to a gentleman's house that has skill to take off these burdens : so I believed him?, and turned out of that way into this, if haply I 'might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped for fear, as I said, of the danger: but I now know not what to do 4.
Evan. Then said Evangelist, Stand still a little, that I may shew thee the words of God.'.
So he stood trembling. Then said Evangelist, “ See that ye refuse not him that speaketh : for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heavenk.” He said, moreover, “Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him!." He also did thus apply them: Thou art the man that art running into this misery ; thou hast begun to reject the counsel of the Most High, and to draw back thy foot from the way of peace, even almost to the hazarding of thy perditions.
's As the belief of the truth lies at the foundation of the hope of eternal life, and is the cause of any one's becoming a pilgrim; 50 the belief of a lie is the cause of any one's turning out of the way which leads to glory.
4 When penitent sinners perceive that their own works cannot save them, they often think there is no mercy, for them, and are quite at a loss what to do.. See the effect of inattention and disobedience to the directions
* Heb. xii. 25. 'Heb. x. 38.